The short stories collection “Citizen Komarova Finds Love” by Ekateria Sedia offers a unique opportunity to read one of the best Russian writers (now resident in the USA) – of science fiction and new weird.
Ekaterina Sedia draws liberally from the so-called “russkaya dusha” (the Russian Soul), and although some stories contain many references to the history and the national folklore of her country of birth, it is clear that the themes transcend the borders of Russia to tackle universal issues such as disorientation, precariousness of life, loss of identity and ambiguity towards the future.
In the midst of University classrooms haunted by an enigmatic zombie of Lenin, remote landscapes such as the ones of the Sakhalin Island, post-revolution Russia where the fallen nobility struggles to survive, Ekaterina Sedia’s characters are forced to remain where they would not like, or to desire what they cannot anymore. This fracture, between the loss of a glorious past and the anxiety about an uncertain future, manifests itself in ways that range from the psychological tension to the metaphysical and science-fictional transformation.
By reading these stories it is impossible not to remember the great authors of Russian literature, both classical and contemporary: from Gogol to Bulgakov, from Pelevin, to Erofeev and Shteyngart.
“In the rich writing of Ekaterina Sedia it’s possible to identify some key issues that permeate all her stories: the daily struggle, the survival meant as defeating of death, but above all the body, observed and almost dissected by this amazing author.” Alda Teodorani
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